Quebec won't compensate Ponzi victims

Aug. 5, 2009 at 11:00 AM

MONTREAL, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The alleged victims of a Montreal man accused of investment fraud are ineligible for help from Quebec's crime victims' compensation fund, officials said.

A community group called Sun Youth petitioned the provincial justice department on behalf of as many as 175 people who had financial dealings with Earl Jones, who is free on $30,000 bail facing fraud and theft charges, The (Montreal) Gazette reported.

Justice Department spokesman Adam Lukofsky said the victims' fund was designed for those affected by violent crime.

"The fund's mandate is very specific. It would need to be changed with legislation," he said.

Jones is accused of running a classic Ponzi scheme in which few or no real investments are made with clients' money, but rather new investors' cash is used to pay more senior clients.

The Sun Youth group said in its letter some of Jones' alleged victims are elderly or disabled and are now destitute. The letter said it has been receiving donations to help five or six of the most needy people, the report said.

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